I’ve begun pondering what shall be 2022’s touchstone phrase, or word. 2021’s “festina lente” has served me well. I’ll miss it, but it’s been worn smooth after a year.
I was flipping through my notes. First my notes about previous years’ phrases, but then wandering through the slipbox. I wandered into the section audaciously labeled, Mastery Projects, and then swung a left into the aisle labeled, On Learning Itself. There’s a stack of slips in there, many of which are notes from a book. This captured quotation held my interest:
If writing is the medium of research and studying nothing else than research, then there is no reason not to work as if nothing else counts than writing.
Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices means never retiring, because the brain has to be engaged in finding new solutions in the moment, not just remembering old formulas. Hard choices makes us wiser, smarter, stronger, and wealthier, and easy choices reverse our progress, focusing our energies on comfort or entertainment. In every difficult moment ask yourself, “What is a hard choice, and what is an easy choice?” and you will know instantly what is right.
I also can’t fool my old friend Hormesis, and rust never sleeps.
Walk distances. Lift heavy things. Move in mysterious ways. (She does!) Ask your body to try something new. Remind your body to try something old.
Jerzy Gregorek said something—which I feel is profound—about, “your first body,” and your second body. I’m definitely understanding what he means these days. The first fifty, this thing was pretty responsive; Handled pretty good in the corners, stopped well in slippery conditions, got terrible mileage, but could haul firewood.
I’m pushing 50 and the challenge of getting enough physical activity into the day is, well, a serious challenge. My biggest challenge though is my unhealthy relationship with food, and my self-imposed stress. But, I’ll set those later two aside for another day.
Today I want to talk about a neat little program by Jerzy Gregorek, (who’s known as the “Lion of Olympic weight lifting,”) called the Happy Body Program. I’d been toying with this program for over a year, before I got serious a couple months ago.
In his “Happy Body” book, Gregorek has a very direct and simple way of defining, measuring and working towards a happy body — meaning one that is basically fit — in the sense of fit for living. There’s a companion poster)—it’s pricey but rather useful to put the entire program up on your wall.
Every morning starts with me doing about 20 minutes of mobility work, followed by Tracy and I running through Happy Body. Currently, we’re working our way up in the number of circuits it calls for, but it’s easy to do and as quick as real work can be.
It’s a very long podcast, but I really enjoyed getting to know Jerzey. Around 2h39m in, as they’re wrapping up, he says…
I see that the first 50 years is your first body, but also it is “nature versus nurture.” So you have the nature; you use the body, but you don’t care. The body is fantastic, it is restoring itself, it is recovering itself, and it is very, very forgiving. The next 50 years is the nurture. It’s time to be intelligent, it’s time to have goals, it’s time to have plans, it’s time for that. So if we start nurturing the body we can easily go for another 50 years, right? So that’s our second body. There is this gracefulness on the road that we need to learn. Once you get that gracefulness then your journey can be pleasant, your journey can be proressive and your journey can be joyful.
~ Jerzey Gregorek
I’m not quite 50, but this really resonated with my recent [several years worth] work, efforts, journey and progess.
Update Oct ’17:
Link to Jerzey’s “Happy Body” book which I’m really enjoying. He has a very direct and simple way of defining, measuring and working towards a happy body — meaning one that is basically fit — in the sense of fit for living. There are several companion books, (and a companion poster). I don’t feel the need to buy the books, yet ;) but the poster might be handy.
I was recently listening to a podcast with Jerzy Gregorek where he was talking about our internal ‘voices’. (the Fatalist, the Master, et al) He was describing how weight lifting had awaked his internal Master… it clicked for me this morning as I went out the door. “fitness” versus “training”. Solitude. Hard work well done. My internal Master — the master of me, not a master of others — has slowly awakened these past few years and knew what I should do this morning. 20 min trail run up here, work on this one route until my hands have had enough.